Bespoke women’s wear and bridal gown designer Lisa Redman shares the rules for storing your wedding dress after your big day! 

We all know that your wedding dress really is the most important dress you will ever invest in,and usually the most expensive too! 

Not only is it the most beautiful gown that you have ever worn, it also holds the memories of a lifetime.

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Dress designer: Lisa Redman Photographer: Serena Bolton

So taking good care of such a treasured garment is a must if you are keen to preserve them as a future heirloom or simply to reflect on a day like no other. 

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Dress designer: Lisa Redman Photographer: Serena Bolton

The day has now flown past and you are off on your honeymoon. 

However, before you fly, you need to make sure that your gown is going to be well looked after so leave it in the capable hands of someone you trust.

And do your research on the best cleaner in town and how best to store it. 

Enlist the help and expertise of a trusted cleaner. 

You may need someone who can hand clean your dress if it is particularly delicate. 

Make sure you are totally comfortable with their work, and check their attention to detail because wedding gowns really do need that extra level of care.

You will need to get it to the dry cleaners as soon as you can. 

Any stains become more and more difficult to remove as time goes by.. So the quicker the better. 

Once you and the dress are back at home, and back to reality you will want to think about storing it long term. 

First, take it out of the plastic garment bag in which it was most likely returned to you by the dry cleaner.

These plastic covers are not good for permanent use as they do not allow the garments to breathe. 

Over time the fabric will deteriorate and drop fibres onto the cloth. They also do not allow for any change in temperature, and in extreme cases can cause condensation and you run the risk of mould growth. 

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A large box is a good starting point to store the dress.

However do ensure it is a box fit for purpose and do not use a normal cardboard box to cut corners. 

Most normal boxes contain acid that, when in contact with the dress, causes yellowing and other general discolouration.

The wedding storage boxes are both PH neutral and sturdy enough to eliminate light and protect the garment from any accidents.  

These are easy to track down at PAKT, who can advise and supply you with the right box for your gown. (www.pakt.hk)

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PAKT knows how to pack a wedding gown professionally in a proper box.

Make sure the box is large enough to minimize the number of folds. 

Fold the dress neatly, inserting acid free tissue in-between every fold so that no fabric is folded on itself. You do not want to snag the delicate fabric.

You are trying to keep the gown safe from any chance of staining over time,  so seal the air in the box, making sure the lid is tightly secured and fitted.  

It’s a good idea to pack away any other wedding accessories in the same manner, i.e a veil, shoes …  

Follow some basic, sensible guidelines, and keep the dress well away from light, heat, damp and cold. 

Store your box in a room that is not too warm, but above all do ensure it’s a dry space….

Never store your dress in the attic as it creates too many opportunities for a mishap. 

A leaking roof, damp, insects or even worse…

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Dress designer: Lisa Redman                     Photographer: Serena Bolton

Once packed up do remember to check on it every six months to let it breath.

Unfolding the dress will also help avoid creasing. If the creases are left over time they become permanent. 

So following those crucial rules should keep your gown preserved, ready to be a future heirloom! 

Keeping the dress as fresh as the memories that will be with you forever. 

 

www.lisaredman.co.uk

Photographic credits to Serena Bolton              www.serenabolton.com

 

 

 

Baby- it’s getting mouldy in here…

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It is that time of the year in Hong Kong when humidity rises above 70% and everything feels just a little bit damp. It’s getting warm too…perfect conditions for mould to enter our lives…and into our clothes.  You can’t escape the humidity and neither can your clothes.  So how do we tackle mould?  More importantly, how can we prevent mould setting in?  Because once you get mould, it’s difficult to get rid of!

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Preventing mould

First step is to try and prevent the damp conditions that help mould flourish.   Luckily, in Hong Kong we have products we can buy to help in the battle against mould.  Key are good ventilation, aircon and dehumidifiers to keep things as dry as possible while maintaining good air flow.  Keep traditional fans in your bathroom and kitchen but buy electrical dehumidifiers for your bedroom, living room and wardrobe space.  Disposable dehumidifiers and silica gel sachets sold in supermarkets or local hardware stores such as Japan Home Stores are also really useful.  These are plastic tubs filled with materials such as charcoal that soak up the humidity and trap the water in the tubs.  Once the tubs are full, you simply throw them away and replace with new ones.  Also for the wardrobes, you can find hanging dessicant/silica gel sachets that do the same job.  However more natural materials such as charcoal are best when they are close to your clothes.  Stylists also recommend heat bars which can be installed in wardrobes but take note that furs, leathers, synthetics and delicates should not be hung close to these heat sources.  A wardrobe that is overstuffed will encourage mould to grow as there needs to be breathing space between your clothes.

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Getting rid of mould

Ok, so you get out your favourite piece of clothing and find it covered with mould and smelling less than fragrant (the smell of mould is musty like a damp and dirty basement, one of the worst smells…) What do you do?  First of all check the label to see what cleaning care is recommended.  If it is dry clean only, then any home remedy cleaning is not applicable, you will need to send the garment over to the dry cleaners to get it professionally cleaned.

A soaking in one of these amber rainstorms really kills shoes and clothes.  The high humidity just doesn’t let stuff dry out properly.  So you may not have thought that natural sunlight not only is an inexpensive and pretty effective way of drying stuff out but fresh air also helps deodorize – simply air the garment and then brush off any loose mould or even gently vacuum the mould off the garment with a hoover that has a HEPA filter.  This is probably the least invasive cleaning method.   However a word of warning – strong sunlight can fade colours so be careful of which garments you leave out in the sun.

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Rub in a mould stain remover and/or scrub it off with a toothbrush – There are several products you can try.  Apply the solution to the mould stain. If the fabric is tough, like cotton or denim, you can try gently scrubbing off the mould with a clean toothbrush. Just remember you are attacking fabric and not floors – so be gentle.

Wash at the hottest recommended temperature with a good detergent – Hot water has the best chance of killing mould spores, but remember to follow the care label’s instructions to avoid ending up with a bigger mess than when you originally started.

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What sort of anti-mould products?

There are several products you can try, however, not all are suitable for all fabrics.  To be safe, test the product on an inconspicuous part of the fabric first and follow the safety precautions detailed in the product’s label.  Remember to read both the label on the product as well as the tag on your clothing!

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  • Household soap – For old stains, everyday household soap, either liquid or in bar form, can be rubbed in directly and rinsed out with water. Then leave the fabric in the sun to dry.
  • White Distilled Vinegar – An excellent mould-killer, diluted vinegar can be worked directly into the stain – or you can pre-soak the clothing in a bucket of water mixed with one cup of vinegar. You can also add 1-2 cups of vinegar to your washing machine per cycle to kill any mildew odours and brighten your whites.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide – Mix 1 part 20% hydrogen peroxide with 4 parts water to create a solution. This should only be used on organic fabrics (cotton, linen, etc.) that aren’t flame-resistant or don’t have easy-care finishes.
  • Borax – This water-soluble mineral is also a natural mould-killer, which you can buy as a detergent or in powder form. If you get it as a powder, mix one half cup thoroughly with hot water according to the instructions. Then add the solution directly into the drum of your washing machine, and launder the clothes as normal.
  • Bleach – Bleach is effective at killing mould, but it will also fade colours. So use bleach only on whites or colour-fast clothes, by pre-soaking or scrubbing directly onto the mould itself. Always follow the product instructions, wear rubber gloves, and work in a well-ventilated area away from children, as bleach fumes can be harmful! Always be responsible and remember to store the bleach in a secure cupboard out of the reach of children or pets.

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So there you go, hopefully we have given you some ways to tackle the dreaded mould.  However, remember, if in doubt do seek professional help.  Best remedy is however TLC for your clothes to start with – so space between your clothes, dehumidifiers, aircon as well as simple fans to get the air circulating.  Enjoy the spring and summer…

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xxx PAKT team

Please note that some of these images do not belong to us and belong to the original photographers who did the hard work!